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Since 2012, Philadelphia has been installing green roofs and rain gardens to solve a massive sewage problem. With rising costs and implementation setbacks, it may be more aspirational than feasible

Our Water Matters is an ongoing series produced through an editorial collaboration of the Chestnut Hill Local, Delaware Currents and Grid Magazine. Ever since the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) created a plan to fix its archaic sewer systems in 2011, proponents have held up the resulting program — Green City, Clean Waters — as a

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18 mins read
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Under new federal regulations, the Philadelphia Water Department will need to remove lead service lines within 10 years. Finding, excavating and replacing them may cost half a billion dollars

Our Water Matters is an ongoing series produced through an editorial collaboration of the Chestnut Hill Local, Delaware Currents and Grid Magazine. Across the country, civil engineers and water experts are bracing for new requirements announced in December 2023 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take effect. For the first time, water systems may

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7 mins read
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EPA Tightens Air Pollution Standards

Tighter air pollution limits announced by the EPA on February 7 should have Philadelphians breathing easier. The new rule sets the limit, averaged over a year, of nine micrograms of tiny soot particles per cubic meter of air. “This final air quality standard will save lives and make all people healthier, especially within America’s most

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1 min read
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A deer plague is heading toward Philadelphia. Business and politics are getting in the way of stopping it

Like a human starting to experience Alzheimer’s disease, a deer in the early stages of chronic wasting disease doesn’t look all that sick. You’d have to spend some time with it to notice anything amiss. But in both illnesses, once it starts, there is no stopping the degeneration of the brain tissue and further outward

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13 mins read
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Editor’s Notes: A Moving Target

Everyone loves Green City, Clean Waters — at least in theory. Twelve years ago the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) rolled out the ambitious, 25-year plan meant to deal with our combined stormwater-sewer system. When it rains, stormwater that flows off of roofs and pavement tends to overwhelm the system, sending raw sewage into our rivers

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2 mins read
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Time in nature is a boon for children’s physical and mental health. It’s also great for parents

Six-year-old West Philly native Idris McClellan looks very much at home running through Awbury Arboretum on a recent fall day, but he’s actually there on doctor’s orders. McClellan is part of Prescribe Outside, a collaborative program of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Awbury, Let’s Go Outdoors and the U.S. Forest Service to encourage outdoor time

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7 mins read
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Yoga nonprofit provides a supportive environment for people of all races, ages and genders

The nine students sitting before their teacher, Andre Coles, differ in age, physical abilities, gender and race, but they come together to grow and build community through the Roots2Rise yoga program. With soft music playing in the background, program director Coles welcomes all. “Sometimes the world seems very unstable,” Coles says in a gentle tone

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4 mins read
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Philly is spending $2B+ to fix its sewage problem. But is Green City, Clean Waters working?

In the early 1700s, botanist John Bartram surveyed his farmland abutting the banks of the Schuylkill River in what is now Southwest Philadelphia and had an idea: build a garden for his beloved plants. Approaching its 300th anniversary, the modern Bartram’s Garden is a National Historic Site and a gem of Philadelphia’s park system. But

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17 mins read
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Expert forager shows us the power of the plants we overlook

On a brilliant October morning in FDR Park, a small group coalesces around a striking figure. Sporting a cap of tight platinum curls, “The Thursday Murder Club” earrings and floral overalls that would provide perfect camouflage in a perennial garden at high season, Lady Danni Morinich welcomes aspiring foragers to her two-hour exploration of wild

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5 mins read